Are PUAs Really Looking for Sex?

Reader Jennifer Frances Armstrong says:

I have the impression that a lot of what is at the source of PUA problems is the fact that they (and many men) have been taught to desire something that isn’t sexually healthy. They’re not attracted to real women but to the unreal images that appear in adverts and on movie sets.

Reader llama responds:

Yes this whole sex as a commodity thing is the problem. The idea that it is better if the woman looks like a model is fucked.

What I have to add to this interesting exchange between our brilliant Australian participants is the following. Many people don’t derive any true pleasure from the actual sex act (because of their puritanic upbringing and attached feelings of guilt, for example). Any pleasure they get is subverted by guilt and shame. As a result, they begin to invest sex with other meanings. In order to have any kind of usefulness, sex for them needs to bring prestige or social recognition. Such people are often heavily homosocial. They are oriented towards gaining acceptance within their gender group while heterosexual sex partners are only needed as trophies to be demonstrated to the peer group.

Of course, such unhealthy attitudes to sex make these people very sexually unattractive. This is why they have to come up with convoluted strategies just to get anybody to talk to them.

76 thoughts on “Are PUAs Really Looking for Sex?

  1. bloggerclarissa :
    As a result, they begin to invest sex with other meanings. In order to have any kind of usefulness, sex for them needs to bring prestige or social recognition.

    Sex to satisfy the needs of your social group is really unhealthy. It leads to gang rapes and these very weird and troubling cases where some woman is passed or shared around a football team.

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  2. hi clarissa i would like it if you would change “some woman” to “a woman” some seems derogatory and that is not my intent.

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  3. Thanks Clarissa! I had long term acquaintance with a couple of these guys and their psyches are shaped just the way we have all been suggesting. It’s hard to know, with regard to long distance or Internet-based relationships, exactly where another person is at, in terms of emotional and intellectual maturity. Appearances can be deceiving. A common element to both of these guys’ attitudes is that they treated their own experiences with the utmost seriousness indeed, but mine as if they had no basis in anything other than emotion.

    A couple of years or more ago, I began to press to have my experiences taken to be a real as theirs. This had the effect of throwing down a gauntlet. It is perhaps best advised not to go into too many details here, but I had the impression that both of these guys felt that I had somehow challenged their masculinity by questioning whether they had any capacity to view my experiences as tangible and set in reality.

    One of these guys conducted an Internet harassment campaign against me, on different sites, trying to prove something to the effect that I was not what I had seemed to be. The other complained of “castration” and spoke to me in a childish tone. How does this fit in with the topic PUAs?

    Once again, the situations are too elaborate to go into much detail, but it seemed they both felt I had blown their cover as masculine men by questioning their ability to engage with me and relate authentically. This was a very strange experience for me.

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  4. And to be clear: I think what surprised me so much was that all the time I’d been assuming a very high level of intellectual and emotional maturity on the part of my male counterparts, the actual level of both these attributes was betrayed by the panic that they actually conveyed, at the prospect of being forced to treat me as an equal. I realized I’d been projecting a lot of positive qualities out into the ether, onto certain males, when I should have been looking more closely at the evidence for actually existing maturity and so on.

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  5. I responded to those comments on the other post.

    But I have one question: What about the fact that sexual desirability breeds itself? I’m talking about the phenomenon that If, say a man, is considered desirable, he’s more likely to be seen that way by newcomers based solely on the fact that other women want him. The average people tend to be very conformist when it comes to choosing a partner. Does that not make it a worthwhile pursuit to get female attention in order to raise your value in the dating market to other prospective partners in the future? Besides, respect from other men is another thing that’s considered very attractive to many women and a man who gets lots of female attention tends to be respected and admired by his peers.

    This entire discussion is too idealistically driven and lacks the reality of everyday life.

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    1. I’m talking about the phenomenon that If, say a man, is considered desirable, he’s more likely to be seen that way by newcomers based solely on the fact that other women want him.

      This entire discussion is too idealistically driven and lacks the reality of everyday life.

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      1. I’m not so sure about that. I think Adi is simply talking about the notion of wanting what other people have or are interested in. In fact its almost related to the idea that PUAs are only trying to have sex with women for the sake of impressing other guys.

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        1. If anybody is driven by such considerations in the search of sexual partners, it is person with a very unhealthy sexuality who probably dislikes sex. I see no reason to extrapolate these issues onto everybody.

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    2. Adi, I think that’s a great point. From a link to a news article about single women preferring attached men. (The actual study can be downloaded as a pdf from here.)

      Excerpt:

      Female and male participants who were single or in a relationship viewed information about an opposite-sex other and indicated their interest in pursuing this target. Half of the participants were told that the target was single and half read that the target was currently in a relationship. The results showed that only single women were more interested in pursuing an attached target rather than a single target.

      Combine this with the “virgin shaming” that men get — the shaming of men for having too few sexual partners — and you have a pretty powerful socialized motivation encouraging men to have sex ‘in order to have sex’, and not because they necessarily desire the woman they’re having sex with.

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      1. You have misrepresented the study you link to, ballgame. This isn’t about “single women” in general. It’s about college students. Let me tell you as an educator that what college students SAY on a questionnaire has a lot more to do with a desire to be cool and rebellious than with the reality of what they will be like after they graduate.

        “Combine this with the “virgin shaming” that men get — the shaming of men for having too few sexual partners”

        -This happens to both men and women.

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      2. @ballgame the link to the study you give is broken. However did you analyse the data in the news article? there where 182 participants half men half women. So only 92 women. Of these only half were single giving only 46 single women. It was these 46 women that the 59% and 90% results were based on. A difference of only 12 women. Not a vary convincing absolute difference. Particularly since we don’t have any information about any bias in the selection process.

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      3. Actually 12 women s not the absolute difference. Because in order to remove the bias that different photographs introduce they needed to show every woman one mister right they had to make only half of them see a romantically attached partner and half a single partner.

        So we are now down to an absolute difference of only 6 women. And you think this is something worth basing your whole life on?

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    3. Adi :
      respect from other men is another thing that’s considered very attractive to many women and a man who gets lots of female attention tends to be respected and admired by his peers

      These people have invested sex with other meanings (which is what this thread is about). So you think a good way to earn respect from the men in your social group is to maximise the number of women you fuck?

      Any gain will be short term. All competitive situations can be played in a positive or negative fashion. What happens when one of your competitors decides to get you out of the way by telling every woman you know exactly what your game is?

      Regardless even if the males amongst your social group have some sense of honour and don’t compete negatively, how many women do you think you can keep tricked for how long?

      The PUA strategy is short term and will not last you a life time. Can you imagine you and your house mate doing this when your 50? Do you think the last woman that you pick up in this way will suddenly want to spend the rest of her life with somebody who has this mindset?

      It is true that there is a certain amount of respect from other men if you have attention from women. This is because many men never learn how to have anything but a sexual relationship with women. The same amount of respect comes from having female friends, this is something which is much more sustainable.

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  6. Jennifer Frances Armstrong’s posts are always so eloquent. I need to lift my game otherwise people will think all the smart people live in the west of Australia.

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  7. It is true that there is a certain amount of respect from other men if you have attention from women. This is because many men never learn how to have anything but a sexual relationship with women. The same amount of respect comes from having female friends, this is something which is much more sustainable.

    Huh?? This is hard for me to imagine. It is true that many men never manage to develop anything but friendships with women. I know from experience that having lots of female friends who complain to you about the men they date is really frustrating when you yourself have not had sex for months or even years, and have no idea how to find opportunities to do so.

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    1. ” I know from experience that having lots of female friends who complain to you about the men they date is really frustrating when you yourself have not had sex for months or even years, and have no idea how to find opportunities to do so.”

      -Yes, this is a decidedly unhealthy situation for everybody involved.

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  8. A healthy sexual relationship is the one where people have sex because they want to have sex. And not for any other reasons that have nothing whatsoever to do with sex. Like when a woman has sex with a man whom she doesn’t desire but just because she thinks it would be great to be able to tell her friends she has a boyfriend. That’s an unhealthy sexual relationship.

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  9. llama did not say ‘healthy’ s/he said “health.” I have no reason whatever to believe that ‘healthy’ was the intended word.

    If it was, then I still stand by what I wrote. Until I learned a few so-called ‘pick up artist’ skills, I had no sexual relationships at all except for those with women who pitied me or wanted to manipulate me into giving them something, spending money on them, or whatever.

    The ‘pick up artist skills’ I learned were the Ross Jefferies variety, which stress respect for women and demanding respect for myself, not the kind that seem to have been referred to here, but they do involve arousing a woman’s imagination and fantasies via conversation.

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    1. Learning to be a great conversationalist is a wonderful thing. But why discredit it by equating it to PUA which by now immediately evokes obnoxious rude men who grab women’s underwear and make nasty comments in order to be noticed?

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      1. It’s not just being a great conversationalist. It is being a great conversationalist while specifically evoking sexual images in the mind of the person you are speaking to.

        I have never been attractive to any woman in the slightest unless I work at it.

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        1. What you describe lies on a different planet from all these offensive things PUA do, so I don’t think you need to put yourself into the same category. From everything I’ve seen, their philosophy is that a woman needs to be humiliated, insulted and led to think she is nothing special. Then, she will choose an unattractive PUA because her self-esteem will be shattered. This is nothing like what you do.

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  10. David Bellamy :
    I have no idea what a “healthy sexual relationship” is. I presume it means a sexual relationship created for the purpose of improving your health, mental or physical.

    It is a relationship where the participants have sex for healthy reasons.

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  11. David Bellamy :
    The ‘pick up artist skills’ I learned were the Ross Jefferies variety, which stress respect for women and demanding respect for myself, not the kind that seem to have been referred to here, but they do involve arousing a woman’s imagination and fantasies via conversation.

    Since when has showing and demanding respect been something that needs PUA? these are normal healthy attitudes.

    Imagine that women have imaginations that can be triggered by talking to them, what will they discover next? I am somewhat surprised you need some PUA site to tell you this.

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    1. Imagine that women have imaginations that can be triggered by talking to them, what will they discover next? I am somewhat surprised you need some PUA site to tell you this.

      Go ahead and act smug and superior. It took me decades to realize this, or to even have a clue that such a thing was possible.

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      1. No need to get your topological underpants in a knot. It seems to me that you have taken decades to recognise that women are not that much different than men in the way they think.

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      2. It seems that I cannot reply to your reply, llama, so I am “replying” to my own post.

        It seems to me that you have taken decades to recognise that women are not that much different than men in the way they think.

        On the contrary, I learned that women and men are VERY different in this regard. I have never had a woman try to verbally arouse my sexual imagination and fantasies, and I doubt that it would work on me at all.

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      3. I have been asked by readers to get rid of the ten-level-deep response trees because people say they make threads impossible to read.

        I think you are right, Clarissa. Thank you. It just was not what I was expecting.

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      4. And I cant reply to your reply.

        Why do you think there are tens of thousands of phone sex services offered in your country?

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  12. You have misrepresented the study you link to, ballgame.

    Clarissa, it’s a little odd to be accused of misrepresenting something that I’m directly quoting.

    This isn’t about “single women” in general. It’s about college students. Let me tell you as an educator that what college students SAY on a questionnaire has a lot more to do with a desire to be cool and rebellious than with the reality of what they will be like after they graduate.

    I never claimed that this study was the definitive study of ALL single women. However, college women are certainly a significant subset of the category of “single women.” I will tend to believe that it’s likely that the preferences of college and non-college women are similar in this regard (at least in the young adult age group), but I’ll certainly keep an open mind for any evidence (i.e. studies) that show that this is not the case.

    Though your response is not totally implausible, I don’t find your assertion that the study misrepresents these women’s desires to be particularly persuasive. First, the notion that the women increased their stated preference to appear ‘edgy’ is a little dubious given that the audience for this ‘edginess’ would be the folks compiling the study. The respondents were isolated in cubicles, so it’s not like they were gathered with their peers and sharing a laugh about how they’d totally do a married guy. Second, the study appears to have been structured so that the participants were under the impression that their responses would lead to actual dates with others who were compatible. It seems entirely likely to me that the “married” status ‘validated’ the hypothetical male’s desirability in the respondents’ eyes, and that this impact was likely largely unconscious.

    [Virgin shaming] happens to both men and women.

    True, Slut shaming also happens to both men and women. But both phenomena happen disproportionately to each gender.

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    1. ” the audience for this ‘edginess’ would be the folks compiling the study”

      -That’s exactly what I’m saying. Teenagers like shocking adults.

      “Second, the study appears to have been structured so that the participants were under the impression that their responses would lead to actual dates with others who were compatible.”

      -And you call that science?? This sounds like one of those silly games that sociologists play to pretend like they are doing something useful and get quoted a lot by online resources that love this kind of stuff. I could easily set up a sociological study of this kind among my students and prove that they prefer to date little green dinosaurs with yellow stripes.

      “It seems entirely likely to me that the “married” status ‘validated’ the hypothetical male’s desirability in the respondents’ eyes, and that this impact was likely largely unconscious.”

      -As a woman, I can tell you that getting involved with a married guy when you are single is one of the easiest ways of presenting yourself as a total loser to your peer group.

      “True, Slut shaming also happens to both men and women. But both phenomena happen disproportionately to each gender.”

      -Do you believe that a male 25-year-old virgin feels worse than a female one?

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      1. -Do you believe that a male 25-year-old virgin feels worse than a female one?

        Actually, could be so in more than 50% of cases. I read discussions on forum about 25-year-old virgins and most men didn’t see it as a huge problem for a woman, while RE male virgin, people viewed his situation as worse and him as less desirable than a woman.

        I heard one younger than 25 girl (kind of) boasting/ telling without seeing it as problematic of her boyfriend’s huge number of women before her. Most guys won’t share this info about their girlfriend to all their friends, if they are in a serious relationship with this woman. At least, usual standard Joes I’ve seen wouldn’t.

        Don’t you agree that “both phenomena happen disproportionately to each gender”? Even if you find 1 possible situation, where it can be equal, it doesn’t disapprove what most usual situation is. Did in your opinion feminists made up sexual double standard and “Stud/Slut” thing?

        And I’ve yet to see not virgin woman criticized for having too few partners. May be if it was 1 night stand 5 years ago, but then the critic is “why don’t you try to date again and stay lonely?”, not too small number.

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    2. ballgame :
      t seems entirely likely to me that the “married” status ‘validated’ the hypothetical male’s desirability in the respondents’ eyes, and that this impact was likely largely unconscious.

      The news item did not mention married status, romantic relationship was the term used.
      As I have already posted above with an explanation, the absolute difference here between the attraction levels for a romantically involved and a single male was 6 women.

      Even at this point the power of this as a predictor of the population parameters is small and we have not yet considered the bias introduced by the selection process.

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      1. @ballgame out of interest I have done the calculations. At the 5% level these differences are not significant. So more than 1 in 20 times you would expect to see this result if the sample was drawn at random form a population equally favouring attached and single men.

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  13. el :

    -Do you believe that a male 25-year-old virgin feels worse than a female one?

    Actually, could be so in more than 50% of cases. I read discussions on forum about 25-year-old virgins and most men didn’t see it as a huge problem for a woman, while RE male virgin, people viewed his situation as worse and him as less desirable than a woman.

    My friend, do you notice how you have changed the terms of the discussion completely? I am talking about how people feel. And you are talking about how somebody else perceives them. These are two very different issues.

    My contention is that a 25-year-old will feel a certain way about their virginity irrespective of their gender. Many people will be happy and proud to retain virginity as long as possible (for religious reasons, for example.) But those who are likely to feel ashamed of being a virgin at 25 (30, 35, etc.) will do so irrespective of gender.

    I have to make a friendly observation here. You often substitute discussions of how people feel by discussions of how others might see them.

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    1. I didn’t substitute this time. In the original,

      Combine this with the “virgin shaming” that men get — the shaming of men for having too few sexual partners — and you have a pretty powerful socialized motivation…

      ballgame: True, Slut shaming also happens to both men and women. But both phenomena happen disproportionately to each gender.

      The terms “shaming” and “get” refer to “how others might see them”, when “others” = average Joe/Jane, aka “society”. I think we’re talking here about how people feel and how it’s influenced by most popular social attitudes. When people understand that most people around, their friends f.e., will view an attribute X in Y way, often it will influence their feelings too. We’re social animals, not an island in the sea. I’ve seen it happen many, many times with other people.

      What about girls, which after sending a “sexting” message which becomes known to entire school, are bullied, disciplined by teachers and even it happened that committed suicide? What about abstinence only sex-ed with focus on girls? Talks about rape & “short skirts”? Imho, sexism influences one’s psychique by showing what social costs of behavior X will be. Besides, in dating life especially most wonder what their dates will think, like 25 old man who is afraid to say he’s a virgin since he knows how many women and his friends view it.

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      1. All I can say is repeat that exactly the same number of men and women view being a virgin at 25 as unprestigious. Rape, skirts and sexting have nothing whatsoever to do with this. Since the sex revolution of the 60ies, it has become unprestigious (except among religious folks) to be sexually unsuccessful.

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  14. The “ballgame” guy is from a site called feministcritics, in case anyone was unaware. I’ve visited this site myself in the long distant past, but because I am unaware of many of the parameters of US gender politics, I’m not able to make much sense of the issues or how they are attacked.

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  15. Also, I get the impression that any statements you may make on that site (feministcritics) become loaded with the kinds of implications one does not intend. One ends up speaking as “a feminist”, for instance, whatever that happens to mean in the current context of US controversies about feminism.

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    1. I know that website. They find the most outrageous fringe group of radical feminists, hunt for ridiculous statements they make and condemn all feminism wholesale on that basis. There is absolutely no convincing them that the absolute majority of feminists are as horrified with the radical fringe as anybody else. Obviously, they don’t want to be convinced.

      Admittedly, I only visited that website once and left a single comment. But it got too boring too quickly because those folks are just talking to themselves trying to scare themselves with myths about horrible, bad feminists.

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  16. @ballgame out of interest I have done the calculations. At the 5% level these differences are not significant. So more than 1 in 20 times you would expect to see this result if the sample was drawn at random form a population equally favouring attached and single men.

    Then llama, you’ll have to show me your work. The paper says the p value for single women preferring attached men was .02, which is only 1 out of 50 and passes the typical threshold for statistical signficance used by many researchers.

    The news item did not mention married status, romantic relationship was the term used.

    This actually makes my point stronger, not weaker, llama. Thanks.

    All I can say is repeat that exactly the same number of men and women view being a virgin at 25 as unprestigious.

    Clarissa, assuming you intended to say “men and women who are still virgins at 25 are viewed as equally unprestigious” — which is after all the question at issue in this particular part of the discussion — you still haven’t presented any evidence to support your assertion.

    They find the most outrageous fringe group of radical feminists, hunt for ridiculous statements they make and condemn all feminism wholesale on that basis. There is absolutely no convincing them that the absolute majority of feminists are as horrified with the radical fringe as anybody else.

    You must be thinking of some other blog, Clarissa. We actually focus very little these days on radical feminists, and haven’t for a number of years. Of course, if it is your contention that people like Hugo Schwyzer and Amanda Marcotte are “radical feminists” who “make ridiculous statements,” that’s kind of reassuring, but that isn’t how those particular bloggers are viewed in the ‘gendersphere’ where they are linked to by a large number of other significant bloggers.

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    1. ballgame :

      Then llama, you’ll have to show me your work. The paper says the p value for single women preferring attached men was .02, which is only 1 out of 50 and passes the typical threshold for statistical signficance used by many researchers.

      You clearly have the paper in front of you. I posted last night that the link you posted is broken. Give me a link to the paper and I will have a look to see if their analysis is correct.

      If you are going to quote p-values you need to explain what is being tested. What was the null hypothesis used in their calculation?

      DId the researchers do a power calculation to decide on the sample size needed?

      Keep in mind many researchers are not statisticians, my null hypothesis was that the same proportion of single women would be interested in their ‘perfect match’ if he was single as would be interested in their ‘perfect match’ if he was romantically attached.

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  17. You don’t even need a study to know this phenomenon is real. Denying it is just costing you credibility. Basic common sense and some experience in dating will confirm it. Where do you think the strategy of making somebody jealous to provoke interest comes from? It’s all about raising your market value by creating more demand. If you’re more sought after, you can be more demanding yourself.

    @ Clarissa
    “Learning to be a great conversationalist is a wonderful thing. But why discredit it by equating it to PUA which by now immediately evokes obnoxious rude men who grab women’s underwear and make nasty comments in order to be noticed?”

    That’s a no true Scotsman fallacy. We were talking about the effectiveness of PUA and not about “PUA that’s obnoxious”. Otherwise, whatever example I come up with, you can always say “oh but that’s not the PUA I’m talking about.”

    To some one as intelligent and open minded as you, doesn’t it ring any alarm bells when almost every one of your arguments relies on subjective words? That doesn’t mean you’re wrong but it’s a bad sign for sure – especially for an academic. At best, it means your position itself is subjective. Have you considered, for example, that there are plenty of women who like their underwear to be grabbed and having nasty comments made about them? I have met such women. And that isn’t even going into the fact that what you consider to be “nasty” might be entirely different for somebody else.

    “A healthy sexual relationship is the one where people have sex because they want to have sex.”

    And people want sex for all kinds of reasons – many of which differ drastically from one another, in particular from yours.

    “There is absolutely no convincing them that the absolute majority of feminists are as horrified with the radical fringe as anybody else.“

    There’s one thing that puzzles me: If feminism is really on the whole gender egalitarian, then why are there no “radical fringe” elements that are anti-women and/or pro-men? Not that I want such people to exist but shouldn’t there be a roughly equal number on both sides of the fence? The problem this brings is that anyone claiming feminism is overall anti-male is automatically right because even if 99% of feminists are gender egalitarian, the fact that the full remaining 1% is anti-male is enough to shift the overall balance towards anti-male. Just an observation from afar.

    “This only happens in junior high school. Adult people don’t behave this way.”

    Adults are just children with wallets (a quote from someone I don’t remember). Nowhere is this more true than when it comes to sex and dating. I can’t even begin to describe how childish and petty some of the behaviour is I’ve seen as soon as romantic or sexual feelings are involved. Sure, everyone here in this thread is perfect and mature but we’re talking about the AVERAGE people out there in the REAL world which is a VERY different story.

    @ llama
    Just to be clear, I’m not a PUA and do not condone PUA practices. I just hold the position that those practices are effective. Nothing else.

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    1. Adi, you keep avoiding the answer to the question that is central to this discussion even though I asked the question several times already.

      So once again, you say that “those practices are effective.” My question is: effective for what? Do you think that they make people sexually desire those who employ these strategies? Do you think they make people massively sexually aroused?

      Imagine a situation, a woman looks at you, feels no sexual arousal. Then you come up to her, snap her bra, tell her something nasty about her nail polish, and she gets sexually aroused. Is that what happens according to the PUA success scenario? Because in order to be successful and effective, this is the only result these strategies need to bring about.

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    2. “Where do you think the strategy of making somebody jealous to provoke interest comes from”

      -Again, from kindergarten. Do you know any actual adult people who behave this way? If so, there is a newsflash: those are immature disturbed people that no self-respecting adult should hang out with.

      “There’s one thing that puzzles me: If feminism is really on the whole gender egalitarian, then why are there no “radical fringe” elements that are anti-women and/or pro-men?”

      -Are you serious????? Do a tiny little Google search and you’ll get hundreds of names.

      “Adults are just children with wallets (a quote from someone I don’t remember). ”

      -It’s a quote from somebody who is either stupid or is just into pretty sounding bon mots.

      ‘To some one as intelligent and open minded as you, doesn’t it ring any alarm bells when almost every one of your arguments relies on subjective words? That doesn’t mean you’re wrong but it’s a bad sign for sure – especially for an academic. At best, it means your position itself is subjective. Have you considered, for example, that there are plenty of women who like their underwear to be grabbed and having nasty comments made about them? I have met such women. ”

      -And how do you know that they liked it? Because that’s how you interpreted their behavior? Interpreted it subjectively? Or because that’s what they told you? And you decided they weren’t lying subjectively?

      Unless you conducted a lie detector test on these women, all this conversation about what they “liked” is completely subjective. Because, you know, that’s all each of us can bring to a discussion. Our subjective opinions.

      And I swear to God that if I have to explain even just one other time that this is a blog dedicated to my OPINIONS (as it states at the very top of the page) and is NOT an academic paper that requires a bibliography, I’ll just explode.

      Seriously, people how many times can I respond to the same boring argument of “Oh, this is just your opinion.” Yes, it is. What a discovery.

      Is it so frakking hard to read a blog’s header before posting the same trivial observation for the gazillionth time?

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    3. Adi :
      @ llama
      Just to be clear, I’m not a PUA and do not condone PUA practices. I just hold the position that those practices are effective. Nothing else.

      I am sure some of them are effective short term. Take for instance your flatmate who just lies about how wealthy he is. How long do the relationships he starts like this last?

      Do the women that fall for it stay around long enough to create this jealous frenzy you describe amongst other women? Under what circumstances is this be possible?

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    4. Adi :
      You don’t even need a study to know this phenomenon is real. Denying it is just costing you credibility.

      I would have thought posting a broken link to the study was the bigger credibility issue. I want to verify the interpretation of the data.

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  18. bloggerclarissa :
    Imagine a situation, a woman looks at you, feels no sexual arousal. Then you come up to her, snap her bra, tell her something nasty about her nail polish, and she gets sexually aroused. Is that what happens according to the PUA success scenario? Because in order to be successful and effective, this is the only result these strategies need to bring about.

    Exactly! Any situation where the woman is still listening to you after this means she was interested to begin with. In which case there are probably a few thousand things you could have done which would have been more effective.

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  19. “My question is: effective for what? Do you think that they make people sexually desire those who employ these strategies? Do you think they make people massively sexually aroused?“

    You’re completely forgetting the possibility that they might have desired a whole lot of people to begin with and simply picked the one who’s most interesting/aggressive/forthcoming or just stands out the most. THIS is what PUA is effective at. Sure it’s only a start but it’s crucial. This “negging” for example works because the women who it’s used on are not used to getting anything but admiring compliments. The PUA approach will make the man stand out and compared with the others. The purpose isn’t to insult the woman as you’re trying to put it, but to simply not make her feel superior which, with such women, requires a little cheek. In other words, be naughty but don’t be an ass is the idea. Oh, and being naughty can be very arousing too.

    “Imagine a situation, a woman looks at you, feels no sexual arousal. Then you come up to her, snap her bra, tell her something nasty about her nail polish, and she gets sexually aroused.”

    If she was there for sex but feels no sexual arousal, then she should and probably will go away and do something else with her time.
    And I’m sure you’re aware that dating isn’t only about getting aroused.

    “If so, there is a newsflash: those are immature disturbed people that no self-respecting adult should hang out with.”

    Great. So you’re now saying PUA works just for “immature disturbed people”. I think we can agree on that. I only want to add that these people constitute a LARGE portion of the population. Hence PUA works for a similarly large portion of people.

    “-Are you serious????? Do a tiny little Google search and you’ll get hundreds of names”
    [this was about anti-female or pro-male radical feminists]

    I did and couldn’t find anything. Please help me find some. I will gladly revise that statement if it turns out to be wrong.

    “-And how do you know that they liked it? Because that’s how you interpreted their behavior? Interpreted it subjectively? Or because that’s what they told you? And you decided they weren’t lying subjectively?“

    One example off the top of my head was a close friend of mine. We talked about everything with each other. She met her boyfriend at a party where he groped her ass or made objectifying comments and little else. She told me afterwards she liked him grabbing her ass. They got together for over a year and she had her first time with him.

    “Unless you conducted a lie detector test on these women, all this conversation about what they “liked” is completely subjective. Because, you know, that’s all each of us can bring to a discussion. Our subjective opinions.“

    You are the one with the bold generalizing statement along the lines of “women don’t like that”. I’m just saying “some do” or perhaps “many do”. I could make my case just by finding a few examples while your position requires one hell of a lot more to back up. Universal absolutes about humanity are always a nightmare to defend – that’s why I avoid them. There are just too many crazy deviant people out there. There are as many different sexualities as there are people. Did you know, for example, that shemale sex workers (the “girls with dicks”); apparently their most common customers are heterosexual men who want to give them head? My advice: don’t even try to make generalizing rules about what people like or don’t like when it comes to sexuality.

    “Seriously, people how many times can I respond to the same boring argument of “Oh, this is just your opinion.” Yes, it is.“

    Well your opinion, in my opinion is wrong. And to make me think otherwise simply takes more than just “that’s what I think”. Perhaps I should have said that from the beginning and we could have left it as a one liner. Perhaps the title of your posts about PUA should be something like “I hate PUA and it never works on me”. That more accurately reflects the content.

    @ llama
    “I am sure some of them are effective short term. Take for instance your flatmate who just lies about how wealthy he is. How long do the relationships he starts like this last?”

    Sometimes one night, sometimes weeks/months or even years. Depending on what he and she wanted.

    “I would have thought posting a broken link to the study was the bigger credibility issue.”

    tu quoque – except that I didn’t because I didn’t post the link. So I don’t know what you’re trying to accomplish.

    “Exactly! Any situation where the woman is still listening to you after this means she was interested to begin with. In which case there are probably a few thousand things you could have done which would have been more effective.”

    Like I said above: what if she was attracted to several people and picked the one who applied that little bit of extra effort that PUAs put in?

    Like

    1. “don’t even try to make generalizing rules about what people like or don’t like when it comes to sexuality.”

      No, instead justify aggressive sex-obsessed assholery with a supposition of what johns do with transgender prostitutes and a cool story about your friend who likes to be groped and insulted by strangers.

      Like

      1. Facing an uncomfortable truth is not the same as justifying it. In fact, accepting the way things are is the best, perhaps only way to improve them. Just denying them because they don’t fit our world view, is the surest way to keep things firmly the way they are. Perhaps that’s what some people want. Well I don’t.

        Like

    2. Sorry that it took me forever to reply to such a long and detailed comment. The blog is getting more popular, which is why I sometimes miss great responses.

      “You’re completely forgetting the possibility that they might have desired a whole lot of people to begin with and simply picked the one who’s most interesting/aggressive/forthcoming or just stands out the most. THIS is what PUA is effective at.”

      – If a person of either gender feels a strong sexual desire for a person they caught a glimpse of at the bar, believe me, they will be approaching that person no matter what. All of this is just a PUA rhetoric used to excuse not being able to generate any sexual desire to begin with.

      “The purpose isn’t to insult the woman as you’re trying to put it, but to simply not make her feel superior which, with such women, requires a little cheek. ”

      -All you need to have success with women or men is to get them feel desire. After that, superior or inferior makes no difference whatsoever. PUAs insistence that they need to make women “not feel superior” originates with their abysmally low self-esteem, which is supremely non-attractive to begin with. The second the idea that you need make women feel non-superior hits you, you have discovered the root of your problem = abysmally low self-esteem. Obviously, the “you” here is collective and is not aimed specifically at yourself.

      ‘Great. So you’re now saying PUA works just for “immature disturbed people”. I think we can agree on that. I only want to add that these people constitute a LARGE portion of the population.”

      -All of us choose our own reality. The minute you decide that yours consists of a large portion of “immature disturbed people”, you will start encountering them every second. I suggest making a different choice. That’s a matter of one’s personal preference, of course.

      ‘I did and couldn’t find anything. Please help me find some. I will gladly revise that statement if it turns out to be wrong’

      -You can start with Christina Hoff Sommers http://www.amazon.com/Who-Stole-Feminism-Women-Betrayed/dp/B0007O1JQS/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1319258985&sr=8-2 in the US and Elisabeth Badinter in Europe..

      Like

  20. @ballgame and Adi

    So I finally dug up the article linked

    “Who’s chasing whom? The impact of gender and relationship status on mate poaching”
    Jessica Parker *, Melissa Burkley

    and have found two problems in the experimental design and one problem with the suitability of the test statistic used. I am totally unsurprised since psychologists are not statisticians.

    If you like I could explain the problems with this study to you, I intend to write to the journal concerned anyway.

    Like

    1. Like I said, I don’t need a study to tell me something so obvious. And finding flaws in a study that concludes that the sky is blue might be a good exercise in skepticism but, to me, it just suggests a refusal to face reality. I might be wrong about that impression though. Perhaps you apply the same amount of scrutiny to every study that you come across – even those you agree with. Do you? If so, then I’d like to know what you think of the claim that women get paid 78% of what men get paid for the same work with the same credentials?

      Like

      1. Everybody has their own reality, Adi. If you firmly believe that the world is filled with immature jerks, you will keep encountering them everywhere. If, however, you believe that people are mostly normal, mature and healthy, you will see proof of that everywhere.

        The study in question is supremely stupid and meaningless. I’m very glad I didn’t accept the job offer from the university that conducted it. Now I don’t have to be ashamed of being part of an institution that promotes this kind of “research”.

        The discussion of salary inequities has no place in this thread. I suggest people take it to relevant threads.

        Like

  21. Actually I don’t believe “the world is filled with immature jerks”. But pretending there aren’t any is just absurd. How many there are, I can’t say, but there are plenty. That’s for sure.
    Or are all those “idiots” and “trolls” you repeatedly refer to not real?

    Like

  22. Adi :Facing an uncomfortable truth is not the same as justifying it. In fact, accepting the way things are is the best, perhaps only way to improve them. Just denying them because they don’t fit our world view, is the surest way to keep things firmly the way they are. Perhaps that’s what some people want. Well I don’t.

    Please tell us the way things really are O thou lone possessor of a purely objective worldview.

    Like

      1. That’s the end of my self esteem then. Winning somebody’s approval, who’s only contribution has been cheap sarcasm and rhetoric, was my mission in life.

        Like

  23. “One example off the top of my head was a close friend of mine. We talked about everything with each other. She met her boyfriend at a party where he groped her ass or made objectifying comments and little else. She told me afterwards she liked him grabbing her ass. They got together for over a year and she had her first time with him.”

    -I’m sorry but with all due respect it sounds like the examples you draw from are constituted by very immature teenagers, not adults. I can’t seriously discuss examples drawn from the lives of children.

    Like

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